With National Police Week kicking off next week on the 14th, we want to salute all the men and women of law enforcement. We also want to congratulate those who've chosen to serve and protect here in Illinois--because, according to a new report, they picked the right state.

My grandfather was a cop here in Illinois many, many years ago, and my brother-in-law Paul has been a member of the Rockford Police Department for nearly 30 years, so it would be safe to say that my family is made up of law enforcement supporters. That's why I was gratified to read of Illinois' high rankings in a new study of the best and worst states to a cop.

Personal finance site WalletHub went on another of their numbers-crunching binges, this time trying to determine which of our 50 states and the District of Columbia were the best and worst places for someone who carries a badge. I'm happy to share that Illinois landed in the top 5.

Here's what WalletHub's analysts looked at:

It’s a calling that more than 900,000 Americans have answered, knowing full well the hazards associated with their occupation. In the past 10 years, for instance, more than 1,500 police officers, including 143 in 2016 alone, died in the line of duty. Tens of thousands more were assaulted and injured.In order, therefore, to determine the best states in which to pursue a law-enforcement career, WalletHub’s data team compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 20 key indicators of police-friendliness. Our data set ranges from median income for law-enforcement officers to police deaths per 1,000 officers to state and local police-protection expenses per capita.

Let's take a look at the top 5 best states to be a police officer:

1) North Dakota

2) Connecticut

3) New York

4) Illinois

5) Minnesota


Following that up with the 5 worst:

47) Kentucky

48) New Mexico

49) Alaska

50) Arkansas

51) Louisiana


As to some of Illinois' specific numbers:

Life & Work for Cops in Illinois (1=Best; 25=Avg.)
12th – Law-Enforcement Officers per Capita
1st – Median Income for Law-Enforcement Officers (Adjusted for Cost of Living)
30th – Violent-Crime Rate
7th – State & Local Police-Protection Expenses per Capita
16th – Property-Crime Rate
11th – Police Deaths per 1,000 Officers
8th – Housing Affordability

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